Updated Oct 3, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Cory Booker proposes gun control plan

Coy booker

Sen. Cory Booker. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

2020 presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) announced a sweeping 14-part gun control plan in May.

Why it matters: The plan features some of the most progressive measures to combat gun violence proposed by any 2020 candidate. It's Booker's attempt to stand out in an increasingly crowded field, as he leans on his experience as the mayor of Newark, New Jersey, to boost his credibility on the issue of gun violence.

Key details:
  • Booker wants a national gun licensing program, which would force Americans to apply for 5-year gun licenses before obtaining a firearm. The process would include fingerprinting, an interview, gun safety courses and a federal background check.
  • The plan will ban assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and bump stocks.
  • It would seek to close loopholes, like the one that allows people on the federal terror watch list to obtain guns.
  • It would increase oversight on gun manufacturing, giving more leeway to the Consumer Product Safety Commission to put warnings on firearms and recall them, if necessary.
  • At a gun policy forum in Las Vegas in October, organized by advocacy groups March For Our Lives and Giffords, both Booker and Sen. Kamala Harris extended support for mandatory buybacks on assault weapons.
Arguments in favor of Booker's plan
  • Booker is the only candidate who lives in an inner city and has had experience with gun violence as mayor.
  • The ban on assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and bump stocks is what gun control advocates and individual states have been pushing for.
  • Booker's plan reflects some of the same ideas for universal background checks the House Democrats passed in a bill earlier this year.
Arguments against Booker's plan
  • Booker calls the plan "sweeping" and "simple," but lacks arguments for feasibility.
  • The plan's release received pushback from gun rights advocates who say it infringes on their 2nd Amendment rights.
  • With a divided Congress, Booker's plan likely wouldn't be enacted if he became president.

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